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The most challenging part of every beginner’s journey to become an animator is perhaps choosing what software to use. It has to be decided from the beginning, you don’t want to make a foolish mistake by going back to the starting line just because you choose the wrong software when your work is half done, right?
Here are some tips to sharpen your animation skill!
Choosing The Animation Tools
Before you start animating, you should understand the purpose of your animation.
– Understand your expertise
The second most important is to know your expertise. If you’ve never used animation software before, you can try the most basic one to familiarize yourself with the tools and functions. A mistake that beginners often make is that they tend to rush things, which can lead to big confusion later on. So, take your time.
Always start with the very basic software that will help you learn every tool and its function. Try to make your work with that software. Once you think you master it, you can step up your level by using more complicated software.
– Choose the right software feature
After setting your goals and knowing your expertise, next you can find the most suitable animation software for you. To help you choose faster, we’ve narrowed down ten options of the most popular animation software for beginners. Some of them are free and some need a few of your bucks. Let’s jump right into it.
5 Most Used Animation Tools (Free and Paid)
Crello (now known as VistaCreate) is a free graphic design and video maker tool that can be used by anyone. It offers an intuitive interface, so even beginners can create their projects without feeling insecure about their skills.
VistaCreate provides a wide range of editing features to help you create and edit your projects. Users can even find animated backgrounds and objects to escalate their projects. VistaCreate supports HD video format, Instagram video story, Facebook video cover, and animated posts.
2. Toon Boom Harmony
Toon Boom Harmony is a 2D animation software that is suitable for beginners to professionals. It claims to be the best animation studio in the world. It has every feature an animator will need in their software, from drawing to final production render.
It offers the most advanced brushes along with a color manager, and pipeline integration for seamless end-to-end animation. Toon Boom Harmony is suitable for students to freelance animators. However, you have to pay for a subscription to enjoy it.
Toon Boom Harmony is built in three versions: essential, advanced, and professional. For a beginner, the essential version is more than enough. The annual subscription starts from $15 and the monthly subscription starts from $23.
Moho is another 2D animation software that should be on your list if you have enough budget. There are two versions of Moho: Moho Debut and Moho Pro. The Debut version is suitable for first-time animators.
It has all features to make animations, you can even create your objects or characters. Moreover, it has optimized drawing tools for rigged animations and the most powerful 2D rigging. To enjoy using Moho, you have to prepare $70 for Debut versions and $400 for Pro versions.
4. Stop Motion Studio
If you’ve been learning animation or working as an animator for a while, you must be well aware of Stop Motion Studio. It’s perhaps one of the most popular software on the market. It offers a simple and easy-to-use interface that is perfect for learners. You can create motion graphics on it.
Stop Motion Studio has all the features for beginner animators. It’s equipped with animation guides to help position animated objects easily. Also, it has interactive timelines that prevent users from getting lost even if there are hundreds of frames.
In order to use Stop Motion Studio, you have to make a one-time payment of $4.99 to access all of its features. The software works on all devices, including Windows, iOs, Mac, Android, Chromebook, and Amazon Fire.
Cinema 4D is a great animation software, but it has a steeper learning curve for beginners. Developed by a German company Cinema 4D is usually used for making 3D animations. Cinema 4D has professional quality tools to create high-quality renderings and animations.
It’s well-known for having an intuitive interface, procedural workflow, and all features needed to establish an animation from the start to finish. It works on Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10 (64 bits from the r14 version) with Intel or AMD processors with SSE3 support and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or higher.
You can get the software by doing a monthly subscription of $94.00 or annually for $59,91. However, Cinema 4D also offers a free trial with full features before buying it.
There are still many options for free and paid animation software on the market. However, those mentioned above are some of the best that you can try. It’s recommended to use the basic and easy-to-use software for beginners to learn and familiarize themselves with basic tools and their functions.
After you master the basics, you can continue to use more professional software to sharpen your skills and create more impressive projects. The learning process may take longer than you imagine, but it’s not something to be ashamed of. It would be shameful to not finish what you have started.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro